Effective student government

There needs to be a substantial change of the way MSA interacts with students and the University

The All Campus Elections will end Wednesday at 8 p.m. with the Minnesota Student Association presidential candidate Paul Strain running unopposed because many leaders are graduating or are not able to make the time commitment in the undergraduate student government. The reasoning could also be a disinterest in a student government whose resolutions are nonbinding and recommendations have little impact on University policy. ItâÄôs not to say that MSA is an unnecessary entity; it has been behind some worthy causes in representing students, such as the MSA Express. But MSA has not been able to influence the administration on some of the most important issues impacting students (i.e. tuition). When MSA opposed the proposal to close General College, the administration went ahead with their decision. ItâÄôs been the trend for some years now. Moreover, students know little about their student government. In a 2006 Daily survey, 52 percent of students said they were not very well-informed in student government issues, while another 28 percent said they werenâÄôt informed at all. One of the reasons is that MSA is limited to three newsletters per year to send out to the students it represents. The laundry list continues, said Ryan Kennedy, an at-large representative in MSA. He added that some discussions have been taking place as to how to better use the current system of MSA to make it more effective in advocating and representing students. One thing is certain: There needs to be a substantial change in the way MSA interacts with students and the University, lest student voices go unheard by the administration.